Twenty years later, we wrote The Sacred Band, a big freestanding mythic novel in
which we rescue twenty-three pairs of survivors from the Sacred Band of Thebes.
At one point you and Chris took a long hiatus to pursue some important work outside
the literary field. Recently you have returned to writing, releasing The Sacred
Band and Tempus with his Right-Side Companion Niko. What drew you back?
Tempus wanted a new novel. He's very persuasive. And we have more to say now, a
deeper perspective, that is best said by the Sacred Band of Stepsons. It was very
satisfying and we have a new Tempus collection and another Sacred Band novel planned.
Before your aforementioned departure, you created a shared-world series beginning
with the aptly titled Heroes in Hell, released in 1986. The series encompassed 12
volumes before ending in 1989. It featured many well-known authors and received
several nominations, including a HUGO Award in 1986. So, the obvious question is,
why Hell? What interested you about a shared-world theme in that setting?
We had enjoyed TW, but there was much conflict under the surface among writers.
The shared form interested us, and we wanted to try managing a shared universe of
our own. Hell was perfect for us, since we like the mix of historical, mythical,
scientific, and fantasy: so Heroes in Hell was defined by us and populated by writers
we respected. Shared universes are hell to write in any case, so doing one IN Hell,
mankind's first shared universe, made sense: all the complexities of man's evolution
are available and writing about hell is a mythic tradition with us since ancient
With the release of the Sacred Band novels, you and Chris have also resurrected the
Heroes in Hell franchise. What was the draw to revisit Hell?
Reviving Hell was and is an experiment in the potential benefits of interactivity:
in the days of shared universes past, intimate contact on a daily basis among writers
was impossible. Technology allows all our Hellions (writers) to comment and organize
fiction as never before in an iterative process that is like a brotherhood: we brought
our Sacred Band ethos to the LIH project, and the results pleased us greatly. So
more HIH volumes are in the works.